Chess Engine Review: Rhetoric Dynamic!

Want to see a chess engine that plays like Gary Kasparov?

Maybe not as strong, but in the same dynamic style who’ll do anything to keep the initiative.

Even if it means sacrifice a pawn or a whole piece?

chess engine rhetoric

Are you up for it?

 

Today’s engine I’ll be introducing you to is Rhetoric 1.4.3 Dynamic by Alberto Sanjuan.

I have been a fan of this engine for a long time and the default engine (Rhetoric 1.4.3) has a fantastic positional style (programmed using Karpov’s games!) and a CCRL Rating of 2800+.

Unfortunately, this is too strong for me.

What I love about this engine is how easy it is to weaken it and turn it into a sacrificial, attacking maniac!

All you have to do is tweak ONE setting in its config file.

Let me show you in less than 40 seconds how easy it is to get this personality working.

This is the “material” setting, which sets how materialistic or sacrificial the engine is.

I set this engine to what I now call the “Dynamic” setting (material set at only 50%) and took it on.

The result was getting my ass owned by the ghost of Tal, or rather the clone of Kasparov!

Before I show you the game, I’ll make it clear that recently I have been playing okay at blitz on chess.com, despite my shitty Chinese internet connection I still maintain a 2200+ blitz rating with not much effort.

rating

Not a bad rating, but not enough for Rhetoric Dynamic!

 

Taking on Rhetoric Dynamic is a different story altogether.

Just as taking on Kasparov himself would be.

Witness as this great engine demolishes me in 22 moves!

 

Rhetoric Dynamic vs Brendan J. Norman

Rhetoric Dynamic speculates on a knight sacrifice and in a difficult position I missed the correct defence.

Nice game huh? 🙂

Lesson: Do not play blitz against engines! 25 minutes at least on the clock! 😉

Anyway…

Its such an interesting and impressive game that I did a quick video analysis for you (excuse the rap music in the beginning 😉 ).

So how does such a speculative engine do against other engines?

Let’s see some examples of Rhetoric Dynamic’s brilliance.

 

Yace Paderborn vs Rhetoric Dynamic

In this game, Rhetoric Dynamic shows us one way to play as black when white attempts the dreaded “Fried Liver Attack“. Black gets very centralised and active pieces and one mistake is all black needs. Black’s sacrifice 29…Nxg3 is a nice shot and the follow-up attack is brutal.

 

Rhetoric Dynamic vs Ufim 8.02

Rhetoric plays this whole game much in Kasparov style.

First he gives a dynamic twist to one of the most non-ambitious openings possible and with the sacrifice of a pawn ties up black on the queenside.

Once black has his pieces tied up on the queenside, Rhetoric Dynamic sacrifices a bishop on the other side of the board and breaks through with his heavy artillery.

A very impressive, human-like demolition of a 2540 rated engine.

Are you convinced yet? 🙂

If not, check out this game!

Phalanx XXII vs Rhetoric Dynamic

Rhetoric Dynamic plays a very creative pawn sacrifice in the opening and somehow gets a large development advantage.

I swear its like magic the way he does it, but I guess analysis will tell!

He proceeds to attack white’s position aggressively until white’s 29.Ne3 initiated a series of forcing tactical play which ended with a stunning move by Rhetoric Dynamic.

He plays 35…Qg4!! (I guess the move Phalanx had missed) and the game is over!

This is really a game worthy of deep study by aspiring attacking players!

Conclusion:

Humanness of style: 8/10 Nice speculative sacrifices!

Attractiveness of style: 8/10 Plays like Kasparov junior!

Usefulness for analysis: Good for sacrificial ideas in the openings, but still pretty strong for human non-masters to train against.

Estimated ELO: 2300-2400 ELO

 

If you’d like to download Rhetoric and use the Rhetoric Dynamic settings for yourself, go for it and let me know your results!

Downloads:

Rhetoric Chess Engine

  • Svetski

    Can you make chess personality who play like Tal?

    • Brendan J. Norman

      Definitely. But do you mean to play AGAINST or to ANALYSE with? Because they’d be playing at vastly different strengths, despite having the same style. For playing against, the Prodeo engine already has a Tal personality which is about 2000-2100 ELO but plays exactly like Tal. For analysis, perhaps Prodeo MACHEID personality? I’m going to make a new one some time in the near future too. Keep an eye on this page 😉

  • Jaffa Chess

    Nice engine! I have not put the changes in for baby kasparov mode yet, just enjoying as is for now

    • Brendan J. Norman

      Great engine regardless, but the default version is 2800+ (so great for analysis, but too strong for training games) and seems to play positionally rather than the aggressive beast introduced here. 🙂

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